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Beef Buzz News


John Butler with Beef Marketing Group Aims to See All Segments of the Beef Industry Working Together

Tue, 17 May 2022 09:44:41 CDT

John Butler with Beef Marketing Group Aims to See All Segments of the Beef Industry Working Together Ron Hays, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster visits with John Butler, CEO of the Beef Marketing Group which focuses on continuously improving sustainability metrics in the group's 16 different feedlots located in Kansas and Nebraska. Butler talks about not only improving sustainability in their feedlots but working together with everyone in the beef pipeline to achieve a common goal.

"I can't speak for the other feed yards, but I can speak for us," Butler said. "The way we look at our role as cattle feeders is as a participant in the supply chain."

Butler said seeing themselves as participants in the supply chain means they are in the beef business, but they also count on other sectors. Butler sees their role as working to cultivate relationships and business opportunities with the entire supply chain to capitalize on added value while the cattle are in the feeding phase.

"That is really the way we look at it," Butler said. "Which might be a little bit differently, is that we don't look at ourselves necessarily as just cattle feeders, but a participant in a supply chain."

Butler is focused on measuring the improvement of sustainability environmentally, socially, and financially. With the cow itself being the largest contributor to the carbon footprint in the beef supply chain, Butler said he would like to find ways to reduce that footprint.

"I am not picking on any rancher, but it is the cow," Butler said. "She is responsible for upwards of 75% of the entire carbon footprint the beef product is responsible for. Here at the feed yard, we are only responsible for 15-20% of it. So even if I take it to zero, I am still only affecting 20% of it."

Butler wants to find ways to lock arms with partners in the cow-calf, stocker, and packer sectors because they all contribute to the carbon footprint in some way. Working together with all sectors of the beef industry to reduce the carbon footprint in a substantial and relevant way is Butler's concern, he said.

Butler has been involved in the Progressive Beef Program, part of the Beef Marketing Group, since it started in 2018.

"Progressive Beef is an initiative we are extremely excited about," Butler said. "We have a quality management system that is called Progressive Beef and it is made up of 43 standard operating procedures where we employ those procedures in the feed yard, and it is from when the animal gets to the feed yard, to when they go to the processing, and every element of that."

Butler said the Progressive Beef Program is audited and verified, which makes a large difference. There is an entire training regime that goes into it, he added.

"It is focused on getting better all the time- continual improvement," Butler said. "So, what we tried to do with the noble group is to connect what they are doing at the ranch level to what we are doing at the feed yard level."

If we have good, responsible ranchers doing all the right things, Butler said then we can connect information on what those cattle are being fed. The next step, Butler said, is taking that and learning from it to create cinergy to do a better job for themselves and for us.

"It is about the transfer of information, benchmarking, getting real data to measure where we are at, and establishing goals to where we can improve," Butler said.


Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and John Butler on the beef industry working together to improve sustainability.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.


   
   

Listen to Ron Hays and John Butler on Teamwork in the Beef Industry to be more Sustainable
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